Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Kitchen Update

I posted this on facebook a while ago, but I neglected to mention it on the blog. Bill and I are finally fixing the kitchen. And by fixing, I mean painting over that hideous wallpaper. Red, white and blue plaid, with a black border that has country houses on it. Yes, it's as ugly as it sounds. Yes, my mother loves it. Yes, we tried to tear it down, gave up in a fit of tears (well, at least one of us was), painted over it with two coats of primer and then did nothing for several months.

The horror. This is before we moved in, so none of that stuff is ours.

However, as part of my birthday present, Bill decided to kick it in high gear and start the project. It has been going on for two weeks, and we still are not close to being done. Granted, we've been out of town for five days in those two weeks, and the end of the semester is nuts, but a lot of progress has still been made. We painted on two coats of Valspar's Silver Leaf (the same glorious color seen here in our dining room, back in August. With the kitchen's black/white/gray flooring, and the fact it leads into the dining room, we felt going with the same color was a good match - both visually and in terms of flow between rooms), stood back, and realized we had some problems.

 The seams were pretty visible in some places, as were some weird indentations in the walls. Maybe that's why the previous owners picked such a chaotic wallpaper - to hide imperfections in the walls' surfaces. So out came the drywall compound, sandpaper, and Bill's knife - is it a putty knife? taping knife? drywall knife? I don't know the official name, so here's a picture of one:

That took a couple of days - it's a pretty time consuming process, since you have to let the joint compound dry before you sand it. Then we painted another coat of gray, this time painting above the cabinets.

Which is pain in the butt. Especially that one in the picture above. This is how I finally figured out how to reach up there:

Also, please ignore the mess you see around my feet. Everything has been pulled off the open shelves and away from the wall. This is what our dining room looks like right now.

Needless to say, there's been a lot of eating on TV trays lately. Anyways, after this last coat of paint, we realized another layer of joint compound was desparately needed. After debating - do we give in, fix the walls and then start painting again? Which is such a pain? Or do we keep painting, and learn to ignore the dents? We decided we better just bite the bullet and mud/sand the walls again. And by we, I mean Bill. Bill does all the mudding and sanding, and trim work, while I roll the walls and risk my life painting above the cabinets and behind the refrigerator. Here's a little timeline in photos of where we're at now:

Two coats of paint.
First time mudding.
Second round of paint, including the trim. No pictures of the second time mudding, as it really looks the same as the first.
So Bill completed that yesterday, and we will paint again either tonight or this weekend. It depends on how productive we feel, but that's how it stands right now. I hope you've enjoyed this little house update!

And now, because no good update is complete without a doggie story or two, I'd like to tell you about the Sunday Preston had. The dogs have these treats called Bully Sticks (this stuff is like CRACK for them, seriously), which we really only give them when we desperately want them to leave us alone, like when we're eating, or when they're being especially good. Those things are expensive! Anyways, Preston came into my office Sunday while I was doing homework and he was chewing one of these. It turns out he had gotten it off the top of Sensei's crate (no big deal, it's next to the couch, where he easily could have climbed to and gotten it). I later took a shower, and he was laying on my spot on the bed chewing it, when I came out of the bathroom. This may seem random, but I promise that fact comes into play later on in the story.

Later that afternoon, Bill and I were ignoring the dogs, and we eventually found Preston chewing on one of these things in the living room. (We had recently bought a two-pack.) Funny thing is, we did not give it to him - he had gotten it off the kitchen counter. Let me remind you, Preston is the chunky monkey with short little legs. What the heck?! We searched the house high and low for the second bully stick, and guess where we finally found it? In Preston's crate, under his bed. Really, the only term that comes to mind is "that little rascal." We laughed it off, called him crazy, and put the bully stick away. Sadly though, we later realized he had a little mishap with the bully stick on the bed earlier that day, that ended with us throwing away a sheet. See?

So that's my crazy dog story for the week. It didn't include any pictures of the pooches, which I know you're all disappointed about, so I'll leave you with a few of our exciting afternoon with the sprinkler hose and a storage container/makeshift puppy pool. Enjoy!

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